Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plaid Shirts and Skinny Jeans R Us

Listening to: 'Always Like This' by Bombay Bicycle Club [I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose]

You know the look. Yes, that one. Plaid shirt, skinny jeans and canvas sneakers. Coupled with bed hair and geeky specs. Soft spoken, bordering on socially inept. With a guitar (or manbag) slung over one shoulder. Oversized headphones. Playing something depressing by The Smiths...well, pretty much anything by The Smiths. The quintessential 'quirky indie boy' look.

OK I just thought way too much into that. Aaaanyway, the point I was trying to get to was that the boys that fit this mould seem to have created a musical sub-genre to match their outfits. I call it 'quirky indie boy rock'.

So, what qualifies as 'quirky indie boy rock'? I hear you ask. Well here are a few that have caught my eye (or ear, rather) -

Vampire Weekend - Giving Up the Gun

Vampire Weekend are probably the most established out of the bands featured here. Their first album had gems like A-Punk, Oxford Comma and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (the music videos for the last two were directed by Richard Ayoade - Moss from The I.T. Crowd - and there's your random fact for the day). Their new album has produced equally catchy tracks such as Cousins, Holiday, and this one. I think Cousins is probably my favourite single off the new album so far, but I decided to put 'Giving Up the Gun' here because...well watch it, and you'll see why ;-) (I wasn't a fan before, but after seeing him in this video...*sigh*).

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing

Like Vampire Weekend, these guys are also from New York. Are they breeding quirky indie boys over there or what? Hmm. Anyway, I haven't heard much from these guys, but I do love this song. I'm guessing the use of the playground chant has a lot to do with it, but I'm not complaining.

Stornoway - Zorbing

Wahey, something from the UK this time! These guys are from Oxford (I'll try not to hold that against them :P ). I had a tough time deciding which of their tracks to include in this post - they're all so cute! Anyway I think I'm gonna stick with Zorbing, simply because of the trumpet. But please check out I Saw You Blink as well.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Always Like This

I'm gonna end with another British band - these guys are from London. They're probably my favourite out of the bands listed here. I'm not sure if it's 'cos of the music, or 'cos their drummer's name is the suspiciously Sri Lankan-sounding 'Suren de Saram', or 'cos said drummer is actually kinda fit. Must be the music, yes *innocent look*.

I've liked all the singles they've put out so far - Evening/Morning, Dust On the Ground, Magnet and the newest release, Ivy & Gold - but my favourite is still this one. The hook is unbelievably catchy. Here, see for yourself.

So yeah. I think that should be enough quirky indie boy rock to keep you going for a while. I'm not sure what genre I'm gonna cover next. We'll see.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The magic of Pachelbel...and children

Listening to: 'Chica Bomb' by Dan Balan [-]

Pachelbel's Canon in D. I can't remember the first time I heard it - possibly as part of O/L Western Music listening, I dunno. It's not the greatest orchestral piece ever, but it is a lovely little ditty. For the benefit of those who aren't familiar with it, the London Symphony Orchestra version is here.

Sound familiar but you're not sure why? Well have a listen to this:

Coolio - C U When U Get There
Or how about this:

Vitamin C - Graduation (Friends Forever)

Blast from the past, eh? And yes Coolio appears to have transposed it up to an E♭, and Vitamin C down to a C, but the melody's still intact. I'm sure there are many more songs that lean heavily on the canon's chord progression, but the ones I've come across (without actively looking for them) are the ones listed above...and this one. Yes, Britain's favourite txt-bullying, mephedrone-popping chavs have made yet another tune that I can't get out of my head. This one's on the soundtrack to StreetDance, which I'd probably go and see at the cinema (in 3D) if not for the fact that the guy in it is nowhere nearly as fabulously perfect a specimen of the male body as Channing Tatum was in Step Up. I'm pretty sure the grammar in that last sentence is wrong, but meh.

Aaaanyway, here's the video:

N-Dubz ft. Bodyrox - We Dance On

I love that video. The only way they could've made the video better is if they left out the non-dancing clips from the movie. I mean seriously, those kids are so cute! And talented. What do you need those boring adults for?

So I've covered the Pachelbel bit I mentioned in the title, and I've kinda touched on the 'children' bit. To finish off, I wanna share another video I found online, while looking for a song that hadn't been released at the time. It's a quirky song by Darwin Deez called 'Radar Detector', and no it doesn't sample Pachelbel. In fact the official video doesn't even have any kids in it! But this video, done with some 4th graders in the States, is absolutely adorable.

Don't you just wanna give them all a big hug? No? Just me then.

On that rather awkward note, I'm gonna try and get to bed and get this stupid 'Chica Bomb' song out of my head. Bloody Eastern Europeans and their insanely catchy club tracks (with rather NSFW videos, I might add). Grrr.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I really need to buy myself a vuvuzela

Listening to: 'Tenderoni' by Kele Okereke [The Boxer]

I've only been paying cursory attention to the World Cup. In fact yesterday's France v Mexico was the first match I watched...and even then, I left at half time 'cos I was hungry. In hindsight, it would've been good to see the goals...but truth be told, there wasn't much to see after Carlos Vela went off to nurse his hamstring. Apart from Patrice Evra, I guess...but his skin-tight top was a bit too distracting (and not in a good way).

But er, yes...back to the football...or not. I first heard this song when Chappers (formerly off of the Scott Mills show) played it on his 5live footy show (and then tweeted about it). It's now being played a fair bit on Radio 1, and quite rightly is genius. And for those of you who have already seen me going on about it on twitter and fb; yes, I am obsessed.

So yeah. Maybe I should get me a vuvuzela. It might get me kicked out of the pub this evening though. Oh well. COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

To all the haters...

Listening to: 'My Life Would Suck Without You' by Glee Cast [Glee: The Music, Volume 2]

...who think that blogging is a waste of time
...that twitter is for losers
...that you can't forge meaningful friendships online

You couldn't be more wrong.

P.S.- And to all the life would suck without you too :-)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Return of the King

Listening to: Radio 1

  • 7 Grand Slam wins
  • 40 career wins
  • 2nd player to win 5 or more French Open titles (after Bj√∂rn Borg)
  • 5 wins at Roland Garros in 6 years
  • Not a single set dropped in the 2010 French Open
  • Only 2 sets dropped in the entire 2010 clay court season
And there are probably a few more I don't know about. OK so maybe it wasn't the most riveting match ever. Soderling tried, but he was totally ineffective in the face of such excellence. Ladies and gentlemen, the King of Clay is back.

Oh yeah and he'll be #1 tomorrow :-).